Use The Parallel Process in Your Parenting Group!
Posted on April 9, 2012

The Parallel Process Group

This 10-week group is designed to use with any parenting group. It follows the new book, The Parallel Process, by Krissy Pozatek, LICSW. It is important for each member of the group to read the assigned chapters each week and to come into the group with an awareness of the discussion questions. Each group session should start with a “feelings check,” where each member checks in and identifies his or her emotion. This is a skill that parallel’s what their children may be learning in treatment. The aim of this group is for each parent to grow emotionally through enhanced self-awareness.

Week 1: The Entangled Parent
Read Intro and Chapter 1.
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• What is your relationship story with your child?
• Would you describe yourself as over-involved, enmeshed, or co-dependent with your child?
• If not, how would you describe your relationship?
• What thoughts or feelings come up when you identify this pattern?

Week 2: Ownership of the Problem
Read Chapter 2
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• How much ownership do you take of your child’s problem? 60%, 75%, 95%?
• Do you let your child face natural consequences such as receiving an F, being asked to leave a sports team, losing something and not replacing it, asking your child to pay for damage or accident?
• How much do you rescue your child?
• Do you feel responsible for their happiness and work hard to make them happy?

Week 3: Developing Internal Resources
Read Chapter 3
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• How were you raised? Did your parents have behavioral boundaries? Did your parents show emotional attunement? Did your parents create a safe container? Did your parents value struggle?
• Do you parent in the same way you were parented, or have you consciously chosen a new approach or philosophy?
• Where would you place your parenting on the attunement-boundaries continuum?
• Can your child follow rules, or show feelings? What internal resources does your child have and what internal resources is your child lacking?

Week 4: Balanced Parenting
Read Chapter 4
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• Do you set behavioral boundaries for your child? If so how?
• Do you emotionally attune? If so how?
• Do you try to boost your child’s self-esteem? If so how? Does it work?
• What insights do you have at this point to make your parenting more balanced?

Week 5: Meeting Your Child Halfway
Read Chapter 5 and 6
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• What patterns of your own do you identify from the list?
• What thoughts or feelings come up as you identify these?
• If not, can you ask a loved one or therapist which patterns they see in you?
• Can you work toward being accountable and breaking your pattern, knowing this is exactly what you are asking your child to do?

Week 6: Letting Go of the Reins:
Read Chapter 7
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• In what ways do you try to control your child?
• In what ways do you try to control the treatment process with your child?
• In what ways do you try to exert control by protecting yourself?
• What would it feel like to let go of the reins? Discuss.

Week 7: The Art of Reframing
Read Chapter 8
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• Can you refrain from solving your child’s problems?
• Role-play the reframing scenarios in the book – how does it feel?
• How can you let your child’s problems stay on his or her lap?
• Can you practice this once a day this week (with anyone)?

Week 8 and 9: Skills for Reintegration
Read Chapter 9
Feelings Check
Goals for 2 group session :
• Discuss and practice the “1-feel” statement outlined in the book
• Discuss and practice reflective listening
• Discuss time-outs, boundary setting, family check ins
• Discuss making mistakes, accountability and repairing

Week 10: Opening to the Future
Read Chapter 9 and 10
Feelings Check
Discussion Questions:
• What can you forgive? What are you grateful for?
• What lessons have you learned from the process?
• How can you stay committed to your own self-awareness and personal growth?
• What is your treatment plan?


Krissy's lighthearted, humorous, gentle, and especially non-judgmental nature never failed to lift our spirits. I always appreciated her many stories and her use of metaphors to simply illustrate concepts which she felt we needed to deeply understand and begin to implement. I have worked in the medical field for almost 30 years now and have met many people along the way, but Krissy Pozatek stands out as one of the most gifted and talented people I have ever met. I wholeheartedly recommend her to "everyone" because I think that anyone would be lucky to have her as their therapist! We are forever grateful to her for her brilliant insights, her amazing skill at teaching us more appropriate responses, and most importantly, for helping us to heal our family. Susan P. (Parent of adolescent boy)
Having to send a child to Wilderness and then on to Therapeutic Boarding School was one of the lowest points of our lives and yet we realize now that we were truly blessed to have met Krissy. With her vast experience, eclectic knowledge, and abiding wisdom, Krissy has guided us through darkness and deep despair into the light and an ultimately successful outcome for our family. It has been an 18- month journey so far. During this time, she helped us “stay the course” when every fiber of our being wanted to “rescue our child.


Susan - California USA
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